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Livestock Industry Opinions

2011 May 6
It has been interesting watching all the debate about the issues concerning the beef checkoff and the turf war between National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Cattlemen’s Beef Board over the past several months. The debate essentially revolves around NCBA handling most of the money and
2011 April 28
Cattle markets were a bit softer last week, but recovered somewhat by the week’s end. We’ve all been wondering when this market would get a bit softer and it looks like we’re starting to see it. We’re approaching the high-demand summer grilling season and slaughter rates should start to pick up and keep the larger cattle inventory moving, barring any
by WLJ
2011 April 22
There is an important task facing the beef industry in the months ahead. Convincing consumers to pay more for beef is going to be job one this summer. If you’ve been grocery shopping lately, you have probably noticed that people have become much more price-aware than at any time in the recent past. Consumers have been showing
2011 April 15
The bull sales have been awfully good this spring and there is a great deal of optimism in the cow/calf sector of this business. All classes of breeding stock are trading 30 percent higher than a year ago. Many of the bull sales are producing $500 to $800 more per bull than a year ago. Some outfits have seen their bull sale average
2011 April 7
Boxed beef may have peaked for a while at $191 two weeks ago; packers lost $5.60 per head on an average buy of $121.29 for last week’s purchases of cattle. Typically, we would see beef production slow down in response to a negative cut out value. However, packers processed an additional 8,000 head last
2011 March 31
It’s a perfect world when prices and production go up at the same time and that’s what we’re seeing in the cattle and meat business right now. Year-to-date beef production is up 1.1 percent from a year ago and prices are up some 30 percent. Unfortunately, we’re robbing Peter to pay Paul in this situation because we certainly won’t have enough
2011 March 25
It’s starting to appear that some ranches are thinking about expanding their herds. If individual production sales are any indication of herd expansion, then it’s starting to happen. Our team of field men have been busy attending the sales and most of the road talk isn’t about what someone’s bulls averaged or the
by WLJ
2011 March 18
Whether or not we think we might need a National Animal Identification System (NAIS), it seems government officials are determined to give us one. For years after the first U.S. case of BSE, it appeared the livestock industry was on the path to some sort of voluntary NAIS program. Despite the fact that most
2011 March 11
Fed cattle markets have .been trading for over $1 for 13 weeks. Cash fed cattle traded between $117-119 live and $190 in northern Plains dressed trade last week. It’s hard to imagine this market trading much higher, but all the signals point to a higher market this fall. Trading cattle at this level looks
2011 March 3
The ethanol business has been a burr under the saddle of livestock producers ever since the government made the decision to pursue biofuels. The corn markets have been good for the farming business, but not livestock feeding. It’s an interesting relationship since many folks raise both. The current spending
2011 February 25
Fed cattle markets remain extremely good. I’ve lost track of how many weeks fed cattle have traded for over $100. The market has been so good that it has a lot of folks perplexed. The cash market traded at $109-$110 two weeks ago and was expected to trade a couple dollars higher last
2011 February 18
Looking ahead, we have August feeder cattle futures showing us $133.45 last Thursday, a new contract high. Fall cattle prices are as strong as ever and it forces me to ask the question: How many ranchers will sell in the fall on the cash market? I still contend that there are more reasons for the market to go down
2011 February 11
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Cattlemen’s Beef Board, and the Federation of State Beef Councils held their annual meetings in Denver, CO, in early February. There was a good crowd despite sub-zero temperatures. For the most part, everyone was in good spirits due to the current cattle markets, but caution was the word
2011 February 3
The 70th Annual Red Bluff Bull Sale was an amazing event this year and reflected the pace of cattle markets. This sale made history, setting a record for all-breed range bull sales in the West. Demand for bulls was extremely good; buyers jumped right in to get the bulls they needed. This was a truly remarkable event and, by far,
2011 January 28
Cattle markets are as good as they have ever been and optimism is high. Futures markets are wild and have taken prices to almost unbelievable levels. August fed cattle are trading at $113 and feeder cattle at $128. Cattle feeders are apparently getting concerned about future supplies of feeder cattle and seem to think
2011 January 21
It appears that Cattlemen’s Beef Board (CBB), National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and the Federation of State Beef Councils (Federation) have made peace over the recent round of financial discrepancies between the organizations and their contractors.
2011 January 21
Take good food, turn up the tunes, add a handful of tried and true buddies and a reason to celebrate, and you have a party. Everyones definition of a good bash is different, however.
by WLJ
2011 January 14
It was announced last week that the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) will move ahead with limits on position size in the commodity markets. CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler said that the limits will help to protect the markets, both in times of clear skies and when there is a storm on
2011 January 14
We still are pondering the future of the beef cow and visiting and revisiting old and new thoughts. If one references the world production of beef, our beef production is just one piece of a very big picture.
by WLJ
2011 January 14
The proposal will limit spot-month positions to 25 percent of the deliverable supply of any single commodity. Non-spot-month positions are set at a maximum of 10 percent of open interest up to 25,000 contracts and 2.5 percent beyond that threshold.

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